Thirty years ago whilst serving as Wing Commander Ops & Pilot Training Wing (OC OPTW) at RAF Finningley, the Air Training Corps (ATC) Detached Flight at Retford became 1403 (Retford) ATC Squadron. At that time, RAF Finningley had a close affinity with Retford (the Station was given Freedom of the Borough of Retford on Sunday 17th June 1973), my family and I had lived in Retford previously during my tour as OC Dominie Sqn at Finningley, and our son had been a member of the ATC. So I decided to donate a new banner to the Sqn, during a parade in Retford’s Market Square on 1st April 1993. The article and photographs below are from the 1993 April edition of the Finningley Observer station magazine.
I moved back to Retford in 2009, and still have links with the Retford ATC Sqn, as I am the Vice-Chairman of their Civilian Committee. Coincidentally, the Chairman of the Committee is Flt Lt (Retd) Malcolm Tipper who was the CO of the newly formed 1403 (Retford) ATC Sqn back in 1993, and is standing next to the Mayor in the above photograph. The other coincidence is that Malcolm was also a Vulcan AEO at RAF Waddington during my time there.
In order to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the reforming of Retford ATC Sqn, I presented the current CO, Flt Lt Rob Morton, with a ‘Vulcan‘ Trophy on Friday 31st March 2023, along with Malcolm Tipper (see photograph). The Trophy will be awarded annually on the Sqn to the cadet who has made the most progress
Wg Cdr (Retd) Adrian Sumner